Highway 1 Discovery Route

The very best of California is yours for the taking.

Imagine the road trip of your life, gliding past uncrowded beaches and wine grapes ripening in the sun. California dreaming? Think again.

Highway 1 is the most iconic roadway in California, but not all sections are created equal. The length that passes along the coast through San Luis Obispo County (known as SLO CAL) brims with the best of the Highway 1 experience. And as the gateway to Big Sur, this SLO CAL stretch is well within reach.

What sets us apart? One-hundred miles of Pacific coastline, half of which are protected. A national marine sanctuary and a national estuary. Thirteen state parks. An elephant seal rookery and Monarch butterfly preserves. A Scenic Byway designation from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Two historic lighthouses and five historic piers. The only drivable beach in California. Centuries-old forests. Hundreds of acres of coastal vineyards. Uncrowded white sand beaches. History and heritage at every turn with nine locales on the National Register. And Hearst Castle, a hilltop beauty that is a State and National Historic Landmark.

And that’s just the beginning.

Bury your toes in the sand and get to know the locals. Indulge in farm-fresh and ocean-fresh cuisine, and wines from family-owned vineyards. Glimpse abundant wildlife and historic wonders, all in the comfort of a laid-back culture and picture-perfect climate.

Want to plan the road trip of a lifetime? Follow your curiosity to our SLO CAL stretch of Highway 1, and let the wonder begin.

Roadtrip of a LIfetime

Design your itinerary for spontaneous pull-overs, spectacular sunsets and lots of family fun.

What sets this stretch of Highway 1 apart?

  • 57 miles of historic highway, just begging to be explored
  • 100 miles of Pacific coastline, complete with miles of hiking and biking trails
  • 50 miles of protected coastline ― the most in all of California
  • A “scenic byway” designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • A National Marine Sanctuary
  • A National Estuary, which is home to over 300 species of birds
  • 13 State Parks featuring untouched beaches; breathtaking scenery; rare close-ups of wildlife; centuries-old trees; a castle; and drivable dunes
  • An elephant seal rookery – one of the few left in California
  • A Monarch butterfly preserve, a destination of over 25,000 migrating butterflies annually
  • Five piers – all walkable and fish-able ― one is even drivable
  • Two historic lighthouses offering docent-led walks, kayak tours, and history
  • Hearst Castle, a National and California Historical Landmark
  • Miles of spacious white sand beaches
  • 10 Whale Trail locations ― the most of any county in California
  • A coastal wine region, home to boutique, award-winning wine producers
  • The only drivable beach in California, the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area
  • Nine historic places on the National Register, ready to satisfy your curiosity

Destinations

Get to know our beach towns and vineyard-framed villages.

Upcoming Events

Your next adventure awaits

NOTICE: In light of rapid developments related to COVID-19, please contact individual event organizers to confirm the current status of a particular event.

  • Apr
    10
    Spartan Ultra Weekend
    April 10 to April 11, 2021
    Santa Margarita
    Spartan Trail, scheduled to be held in San Luis Obispo County at Santa Margarita Ranch, is a trail race with distances of 10k, 10k Night Run, Half Marathon and 50k.
    More Details
  • Apr
    24
    PARDI at the Beach
    April 24, 2021
    Avila Beach
    Pardi dominated the top of the country music charts with consecutive #1 hits including his double platinum selling songs "Dirt On My Boots" and "Head Over Boots" plus platinum-certified "Heartache on the Dance Floor."

    More Details
  • May
    1
    Arroyo Grande
    Chris Perondi and his troupe of incredibly well-trained dogs are ready to bring the ultimate Stunt Dog Experience to the Clark Center once again!
    More Details
  • May
    15
    Avila Beach
    Delivering four consecutive number one platinum-certified hits, Young was recently named ASCAP's 2018 Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year
    More Details
  • May
    29
    Avila Beach
    The Avila Beach Golf Resort presents the Annual Avila Beach Tequila Festival, featuring live music by Ozomatli and La Marcha.
    More Details
  • May
    30
    Avila Beach
    This year continues the tradition of the biggest and longest running blues festival on the Central Coast, with top name entertainment against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. 
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  • Jul
    15
    Avila Beach
    The story of Slightly Stoopid, at its core, is one of brotherhood.
    More Details
  • Jul
    18
    Gears on the Green
    July 18, 2021
    Avila Beach
    The Central Coast's Classless Car Show at Avila Beach Resort, alongside our Brunch-with-Wheels event! 
    More Details

Plan Your Trip

Ready to design a vacation to remember? We can’t wait to see you here.

NOTICE: In light of rapid developments related to COVID-19, please contact individual establishments to determine their current status.

Where To Stay

Find Your Haven

This wonder-filled stretch of Highway 1 offers a wide variety of lodging options to ensure that your stay is an enjoyable one. Choose from oceanfront property, vineyard views, family-friendly suites and private retreats. Whether you’re looking for a historic inn, vacation rental or budget hotel, the Highway 1 Discovery Route promises to provide a comfortable hideaway.

Where To Eat

Bring An Appetite

Dining on this stretch reveals our embarrassment of riches, from farm to sea. Taste seafood straight from the waves, produce dewey from the morning’s harvest, and bread still warm from the oven. From tacos in Oceano to oysters in Cambria, barbecue in Nipomo to apple pie in Avila Beach, we’ve got great taste. What’s more? We’re more than happy to share. So pull up a chair, fill your glass, and settle in for what’s sure to be a delicious stay.

Activities

Be Amazed

Let our stretch of Highway 1 astound you. Start the day off-roading on the dunes and finish with a glass of wine and vineyard view. Build sandcastles one hour and witness the decadence of a real-life castle the next. Watch whales dance offshore, then dance like a local at a street festival. The rewards are great in our neck of the woods, and they’re all yours for the taking.

#Highway1Dreaming